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Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
After you have determined whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Huntsville AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Huntsville residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you should take into consideration so that you may adequately compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Huntsville AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous employers desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech school needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Huntsville AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Huntsville AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some support. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Huntsville AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Huntsville AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.